The Young Professional Program: what you learn, you can apply in your work

Mathematics, computer science and developing games yourself. When you think of the latter, you probably don't think of working at a bank right away. Or is it? Guus Hertogh works as a .NET engineer at Rabobank and follows the Young Professional Programma Engineering, also known as the YEPP. "I want to become a developer, focus on quality code and do a lot of mathematics. And since banks are now first and foremost software companies, my choice was easy."

“I started working at Rabobank immediately after completing my studies in computer science. I first studied Mathematics, and I also took some subjects in Computer Science. I found that so interesting that I switched. For example, I took the course: An introduction to videogame making, where we developed games by writing code. I really enjoy building such applications using code. I get a lot of energy from that and I also find it in my work now. How cool is that?”

“I wanted to work as a developer immediately after my bachelor’s degree. You can think of banks as big IT companies these days, and I saw an entry-level job vacancy at Rabobank that was right up my street. A job in which, in addition to programming, a lot of mathematics is involved. And when the recruiter told me about the Young Professional Program Engineering, for me the circle was complete.”

“After my application, the recruiter contacted me directly and then it all went really fast. I was guided through the application process at breakneck speed. I now work four days a week as a .NET engineer and one day a week I follow the Young Professional Program Engineering at Rabobank.”

Young Professional Program for Engineers

Complex work that remains manageable

“I work at the bank on software needed to do calculations in the field of asset liability management. Many calculations are still done manually by the specialists. That takes a lot of time and with the software I write we can automate large parts. The work is extremely complex. Not only the writing of the software itself, but also the scope of the project. Yet it remains manageable, because I keep working on small pieces of the solution. And in the meetings with the solution architect and the senior developers, I gain more and more insight into the big picture. There is a lot to learn!”

Working on your technical and soft skills

“At work, I learn how to write quality code and how to work in a scrum team, among other things. The Young Professional Program complements that with various training courses. The first 10 weeks we will work mainly on our technical skills. The technical track is really great, it is a good mix of technical and abstract knowledge. We learn to use various tools and frameworks, such as TypeScript, React and Bootstrap, and discuss the performance implications of certain choices.

“In the Engineering programme, the focus is on writing software. You develop a prototype, app, or other Minimal Viable Product. You do this in a ‘Rabocase’ and 2 business challenges. In the case we are working on the Rabo App, in which we calculate your carbon footprint per transaction based on data. Sometimes it is very easy, when someone fills up with 50 euros worth of petrol, for example. For general groceries in the supermarket, calculating the C02 footprint is more complicated. That is what makes it fun to work on this case. Even if there is a chance that not everything will work out. That is not a problem. I learn the most from projects where I run into things.”

What you learn in the training, you take with you into your work.
Guus Hertogh

“What I learn in the Young Professional Program I immediately apply in my work. So now we are diving into ASP.NET, which is exactly what I need for my current project. What you learn in the training course, you take with you into the next week’s work. That is very useful and motivates to master the profession.”

“In addition to technical training, there is room for training on engineering culture and soft skills. Your Talent Manager will help you. The Talent Manager is the contact point for Young Professionals and helps you to set learning goals and your personal development. I want to become better at giving feedback, for example. I made a plan with my Talent Manager and later we evaluate how it went. I find it very valuable to have such a point of contact outside my team. When you are just starting out, the threshold for going to your team manager is a bit higher.”

Working with colleagues, Young Professionals and different cultures

“Every Wednesday I work in the office, with my team. I notice that I am very productive then. We do pair programming, which means that you work on a piece of code in pairs. I like that, because you can ask something directly, instead of having to plan a team meeting for that. Sometimes I have to, because not everyone in my team works in the Netherlands. We are very internationally oriented and this provides different learning experiences. You become aware of other cultures and manners and how you work together.”

Working together in YEPP

Room for fun

“The relaxing thing about the Young Professional Program is that you are all starters. That makes it easier to work on something you want to improve. Learning how to present or – as in my case – how to give feedback. This is more difficult in the team you work in, because these are usually colleagues who already have between 5 and 10 years of work experience. In the Young Professional Program, the threshold is lower, which makes it a nice learning environment.”

“In addition to learning together, there is also room for fun. You quickly build a large network within the bank and we also see each other after work. In addition, there are several associations of Young Professionals who organise get-togethers, knowledge sessions and networking activities. For example, at YEPP we have the I-Talent community and you can join Jong Rabo. In this way, you get to know young people from all corners of the bank, expand your network and get to know the bank better.”

“For game development, I unfortunately don’t have time anymore, because the combination of work and the Young Professional Program ask a lot. But who knows what the future will bring? After a busy time at university, it is nice to have your weekends off!”

Everything you need to know about the Young Professional Program in Engineering (YEPP)!